With an aim to promote organic farming, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday announced that the state government has started the process to purchase 60 drones for spraying nano fertilisers in the fields.
Biren was speaking at the inaugural function of a two-day national seminar-cum-workshop on “Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming: Health Hazards of Agro-Chemicals use in Food Production”, at the Court Hall, Manipur University, Canchipur Imphal West, on Wednesday.
Attending the function as chief guest, CM Biren spoke on the possible health hazards of excessive use of chemical fertilisers in agricultural activities. He added that the government has taken up initiatives to promote organic farming and the use of nano fertilizer in the state.
Moreover, the state government will start rewarding farmers who rear cattle successfully, he added.
Promotion of cattle rearing mainly cows will help promote organic farming by using manure and milk products for good health. The state government has started the process to purchase 60 numbers of drones that have the capacity to carry 16 litres of nano fertilisers in liquid form. Moreover, the state also identified a site in Mayang Imphal area for composting phumdis from Loktak lake to be used as organic fertiliser, he added.
The CM said that the authorities concerned are putting an effort to set up a food testing laboratory for scientific research on the common diseases caused by consuming fertilised crops.
He said that the government has expanded areas under organic cultivation from 5,000 hectares in 2016 to 37,900 hectares during 2021-23. He added the organic production rate was only 25,000 metric tons (MT) in 2021 and has been increased to 2,59,400 MT at present. The state can expand the said area only after getting approval from the central government.
He encouraged the farmers saying that the achievement could be made due to the hard work of farmers and authorities concerned and the state government had also formed a sub-committee led by the chief secretary. The committee will address any kind of problem faced by farmers immediately. The state government will also announce a toll-free number to take farmers compliant.
Today, Manipur has been adjudged Best Improved Small State for three consecutive years, he said.
Agriculture Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh and vice chancellor, Manipur University, Professor Naorem Lokendra Singh attended the event as guest of honour and president respectively.